Northern Shrike

A robin-sized Northern Shrike (Karl Egressy)

I just saw a Northern Shrike take down a House Sparrow between the house and the barn.  The shrike killed it slowly with its beak by grabbing the sparrow by the neck.  Then it picked up the sparrow in its claws and flew east (I assume towards our gulley which is loaded with thorn trees, where it would be able to impale the sparrow for easier eating). I’ve never seen that before!  Very exciting, but I felt sorry for the sparrow.  Maybe that is why they are hiding IN the NO Frills on Lansdowne!  (There are 3 in the store that have there for a week!)


Male House Sparrow in breeding plumage

Male House Sparrow in breeding plumage

Scott Sargent

Categories: Sightings

Drew Monkman

I am a retired teacher, naturalist and writer with a love for all aspects of the natural world, especially as they relate to seasonal change.